After my scans, I waited a week to meet the consultant. This was probably the hardest time of all. 

When you meet with the team for the first time, you won’t remember important details, so give that job to someone else.

You’re waiting to hear how bad things are – will you survive or not, and what are your chances of survival? The details will get lost in your emotions. Everything may make sense at the time, but you’re bound to forget shortly after, as you’re still processing.

Two of the most commonly used staging systems are a numbered staging system and the TNM staging system. See the MacMillan site for more.new_staging


Diagnosis: wait a week, then a plan

After your scans, you’ll wait a week to meet the consultant. Your team meets to decide on the best course of treatment.

For me, that meant a last-minute change of plan. No surgery (3 days before I was due to go in), but radiotherapy instead. And a wait of 2 months, because there’d been a surge of patients needing treatment. Cuts or kismet? I was never sure.

You definitely need someone else there, because that’s when you’ll be asked the question – do you want to go ahead?

The trouble is, not all consultants speak clearly. Some use medical jargon – that’s the world they live in. Check out the MacMillan and NHS websites before the meeting if you can.